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On Lingering and Being LastRace and Sovereignty in the New World$
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Jonathan Elmer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823229406

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823229406.001.0001

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On Lingering and Being Last: Aphra Behn and the Deterritorialized Sovereign

On Lingering and Being Last: Aphra Behn and the Deterritorialized Sovereign

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(p.21) One: On Lingering and Being Last: Aphra Behn and the Deterritorialized Sovereign
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On Lingering and Being Last
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Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823229406.003.0002

In Virginia and in Surinam something new is revealed to Aphra Behn's eyes: sovereign authority exists as empty form only — both stories have absent governors — and the disarticulation of power and embodiment is complete. A kind of spatiotemporal distortion has gripped the entire legitimating apparatus. Janet Todd tellingly describes Behn's frame of mind at the time of her American works as a kind of spatial disorientation: “With the state shuddering [in 1688], she saw that there was really no inside in England, no safe place and she felt in London a similar sense of duplicity and instability to that experienced years ago in Surinam. Everywhere was ‘America’.”

Keywords:   Surinam, spatiotemporal distortion, sovereign authority, Aphra Behn, America

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